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Crystal Palace signing this 31-year-old goalkeeping gem for free would be a solid bargain by Hodgson – Agreed?

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Crystal Palace Opinion: Eagles should not hesitate to snap up free-agent Stephen Henderson as the third-choice shot-stopper

According to London News Online, Crystal Palace have been credited with an interest in goalkeeper Stephen Henderson, who is currently a free agent after departing Nottingham Forest in mid-May. 

The 31-year-old Irishman is currently on the lookout for a new club and Crystal Palace are amongst those who are interested in offering him an escape route. Henderson spent this past season on loan at Wycombe Wanderers in League One, where he made just 3 appearances.

A youth product of Aston Villa, Henderson moved to Bristol City in the Championship in 2007 but he found regular minutes hard to come by and never really made an impact in the first-team at Ashton Gate.

The shot-stopper subsequently spent time on loan in the lower divisions, including York City, Aldershot Town and Yeovil Town before joining Portsmouth permanently in 2011. 

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However, he was on the move again after making 25 appearances for Portsmouth in Championship, joining West Ham in the Premier League on loan before making his stay permanent in East London.

That hardly worked any wonders for the Irishman and he was shipped out on loan to Ipswich Town and Bournemouth before sealing a permanent move to Charlton Athletic in the second-tier.

Henderson’s spell with the Addicks proved to be a fruitful one, as he served as the first-choice shot-stopper at The Valley for a couple of seasons, making 54 appearances in all competitions. However, he switched boats to join Nottingham Forest in 2016 following Charlton’s relegation to League One, a move that once again derailed his progress. 

The shot-stopper played on 12 occasions in his first season at the City Ground but found himself on the loan list for the following season. Henderson returned to Portsmouth on loan and subsequently featured for Wycombe in the third-tier this past season before his contract with Nottingham Forest came to an end.

To sum it up, Stephen Henderson has had a nomadic career in English football so far, hardly showing signs of settling down anywhere and spending time at various clubs across the divisions with varying degrees of success.

However, he might as well earn a move to the Premier League this summer, with Crystal Palace seemingly prepared to offer him a lifeline.

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To put things into perspective, Stephen Henderson is by no means a world-beater and he probably doesn’t need to fall under that category because he would only be arriving at Selhurst Park as the third-choice goalkeeper.

The Eagles are currently looking for a replacement for Julian Speroni, who departed the club upon the expiry of his contract, and bringing in Henderson on a free transfer won’t be much of a gamble for the South Londoners.

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Wayne Hennessey and Vicente Guaita shared the No.1 role at Selhurst Park this past season and Palace are likely to have both the shot-stoppers at their disposal next term, meaning that Henderson would only be making up the numbers in the squad. 

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Keeping that in mind, his inexperience in the Premier League should hardly have anything to do Palace offering him a contract and it might as well be a no-brainer for Roy Hodgson to complete this deal.